• Tapestry: Esther's Feast

    Technique:
    tapestry
    Dimensions:
    445x540 cm

Tapestry: Esther's Feast

France, 1764

The Story of Esther series is based on The Book of Esther in the Old Testament. It relates how Esther, daughter of Mordecai the Jew, saved her people. Haman, enemy of her father, receives by underhand means permission from her husband, King Ahasuerus, to put the Jews to death. Esther proceeds to prove Haman's treachery and invites Ahasuerus to a feast at which he gives his word that he shall give her anything she asks (Book of Esther, vii). This tapestry shows Esther's Feast and an inscription in the lower cartouche reads: Dona mihi animam pro qua rogo C.VII ("Give me the soul for which I ask, Chapter vii"). This is the moment at the feast when Ahasuerus asks what it is she wants, and Esther replies accusing Haman, for which he is put to death. The series was produced from cartoons made by Jacques-François de Troy (1679-1759) between 1737 and 1740 in Paris and Rome. This tapestry bears not only the signature of the maker Cozette and the date 1764 but also the inscription of the artist: Fait de Troy a Rome 1739 ("Made by de Troy in Rome in 1739"). The border is from a drawing by P. J. Perrault in the form of a broad gilded frame with heraldic lilies in the corner cartouches, the French arms in the centre top and cartouches with inscriptions bottom centre. What a variety of figures, accessories and rich colourful costumes is before us. Despite the outer pomp and grandiose scale, however, this tapestry, like others in the 18th century, no longer has the decorative principles, simplicity and generalized colouring which made 17th-century tapestries so very excellent. Now tapestries were merely copies of paintings, a likeness emphasized by the borders, which tended to imitate carved and gilded picture frames.

Title:

Tapestry: Esther's Feast

Place of creation:

Date:

School:

Material:

Technique:

tapestry

Dimensions:

445x540 cm

Acquisition date:

Originally in the "Historical Rooms" in the Winter Palace

Inventory Number:

Т-15582

Collection:

Subcollection:

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